Joris Dewispelaere
Therapeuticum Private Practice, Sint-Amandsberg, Belgium

E-mail:joris.dewispelaere@pi.be

 

INTIMACY, SEXUALITY AND SENSE-GIVING IN THE COUPLE RELATIONSHIP
OF MASTECTOMY PATIENTS

 

This paper reports the results of a doctoral dissertation exploring intimacy, sexuality and sense-giving in patients with an amputation of one or of both breasts. It is illustrated how a specific version of the Self-Confrontation Method captures the stories of the patients regarding these themes. Further, the results of a group analysis are discussed. Especially the meanings intimacy and sexuality have in the light of the illness and in relation to the way persons make sense of their life are illustrated. The importance of looking for past experiences in intimacy and sexuality and for expectations regarding the future are shown. Finally, the relationship between experiencing intimacy and finding self-enhancement is highlighted and some differences between experiencing intimacy and love are explored.